Tragedy is all around us. Just last year we suffered two of the deadliest mass shootings in our history not to mention many other tragedies that are now forgotten for most of us as life has speedily moved along. But even if we only look at the last few months it is overwhelming. We have experienced terrorist bombings in Boston, deadly explosions in Texas, and horrific tornados in the Midwest. Every day brings a new headline of sorrow, it seems.
And behind each headline are real people. People who are hurting over the loss of loved ones, loss of homes, and even the loss of meaning and hope. Could you imagine how your world would be turned upside down by one of these tragedies? One minute you are simply going about your day enjoying time with family or working hard at your job and the next minute your loved one is gone or everything you worked for is completely destroyed? What questions would you have? What would you do? Where would you turn for help? Who would be there to comfort you? What hope would you hold on to?
As Christ followers we have real comfort and hope to offer those who are suffering through these tragedies. In 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul, speaking about grief, gives us the reason we have the hope our hurting world so desperately needs. That reason is the reality of Christ’s resurrection. Paul reminds the Thessalonians that we do not grieve like those who have no hope. Why? Because our hope is in the fact that Jesus died and rose again. That is a fact and because of that fact there is real hope that death is not the end of life. In fact we are assured that anyone who died in Christ will be raised on the day He returns to live eternally with Him in His Kingdom. And it is a Kingdom that has no end and is a place where tragedy will never touch them again.
As Christians, we have the hope the world needs. We grieve too but not like those who have no hope. When tragedy strikes we have an unshakeable foundation that though we may suffer for a time, our suffering will end one glorious day and break into joy that will remain forever. The Gospel is not only the Good News that our sins are forgiven but also that we will spend eternity with our Savior and God because they are. So in times of tragedy, let's comfort one another with this truth and share our hope with those who don’t know our Savior so they too can have an unshakeable foundation to rest on.
Life Groups Pastor, BCC